Fernie Fishing Lakes – Another winter of fresh powder turns, giggles, nerve wracking ski touring adventures and a few nice days of fishing has been filed in the memory banks. The white mountain tops are being melted away by warmer days and spring rain. The valley is in full bloom; lush with life and it’s a spectacular transformation…

Fernie Fishing Lakes

Most anglers come to this area during the summer months; in search of the popular river systems unknowing that just beyond the next mountain ridge, hidden away within the nooks of the Elk Valley are many opportunities to fish some very productive lakes. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. has a fantastic stocking program and we are fortunate enough to have the Kootenay Trout Hatchery supplying our local lake systems with a variety of trout. There are over 50 productive lakes in the Kootenays and you don’t have to travel far to find them.

I am sure those who lake fish can relate with the sense of mystery and adventure about it all. The anticipation of ice off every year never seems to fade and this year was no exception. As many of the lakes are at different elevations; ice off happens at different times; making weather the deciding factor of which lake to fish and when. The internal questions circle of what to use, where to fish and past experiences lead you to use one technique over the other.

[Fernie Lakes]

Patience always pays off and Chironomid fishing had us bored senseless one minute; then heart thumping excitement the next. That’s why it’s  one of the most effective and fun fishing techniques to use.

Other Indications of what to start with has been available to see at most boat launches; stirring up a little mud always gets something moving in the shallows….from mayfly nymphs, scuds to leeches, caddis….

Sampling fish’s half digested food with a stomach pump is also a good way to figure out what they have been eating…but you have to catch one first! Searching the banks, weeds, air and surface film can be a great start….
As funny as it is; sometimes you go through the wheel of options and the least attractive, random fly you pick will work the best! (I think this is where the mysteries of lakes fishing comes into play….)
At the end of the day; it’s all about getting out there and connecting with nature. So don’t get caught up in where to go or what to use; just get out and fish, experiment, give us a call for advice or we would be happy to take you to one of the lakes and share what we know! For now here’s few hints…..


Suzanne Lake
Summit Lake
Englishman Lake
Echo Lakes
Larchwood Lake
Edwards Lake


Red / Brown / Green chironomids
BH FlashBack Pheasant Tail, Tom Thumb, Prince’s Nymph
Green Scuds
Maroon Dragonfly Nymph
Sparkle Green Balanced Leech


Think about when you are arriving at the lake? Early Morning or late afternoon?

Check the water temperature of the lake! Look for signs of fish moving…..

Chironomid Hatches generally happen early – late afternoon followed by evening Sedge hatches.

Bug to try first: Try a chironi! Find the depth of the lake you are fishing and start 5 inches above the bottom…fish it for 20 min and then work your way up through the water column.  Slow / Figure of 8 Retrieve

If you arrive late afternoon, in the middle of a chironi hatch and can’t get a bite…switch to a leech!

Persistance and Patience always pays off!


You could always consider taking one of our Spring lake fishing classes offered at the College of the Rockies.

For more details – 250.423.1597